Boston Baby

boston-baby.jpgAre you looking for a compact, portable reference to help navigate the kid-friendly ins and outs of our fair city? Today I share my thoughts on Kim Foley MacKinnon's new book, Boston Baby: A Field Guide for Urban Parents. Read on for my review, as well as to learn about an opportunity to meet Kim and eat well tomorrow at Aura Restaurant, and be one of three winners to receive a copy of Boston Baby:
Being a Boston lifer, I know a considerable amount about the ins and outs of this city and its surrounds, but I'm always happy when a local guidebook comes along and points me to some cool leads I don't already know about. Such is the case with Kim Foley MacKinnon's Boston Baby: A Field Guide for Urban Parents. Slim enough to stow in your diaper bag for on the go referencing, this book hones its scope on Boston, Cambridge, Newton, and Brookline (though it does include some notable mentions beyond those borders) and covers support groups and classes, postpartum resources, classes and gyms, indoor and outdoor adventures and attractions, family friendly dining spots, play spaces, retailers, and day trips. MacKinnon even bravely wades into the child care, preschool, and Boston public school system waters.

I know Kim via her work at Daily Candy Kids, Boston and our paths have crossed a few times over the last year or so at media events. However, she's so humble and laid back that we talked about Boston Baby briefly in the early stages, but otherwise, I didn't hear a peep about the book until I received a press copy (and was honored to see Boston Mamas listed as a web resource).

But that's not why I'm recommending the book. Though I do wish this book featured a page index in the back, otherwise, Boston Baby is a thoughtfully compiled, well organized little volume packed with a wealth of information; it's a great pick for new and seasoned local parents. And an unexpected benefit? It recently helped me help a reader. Just the other week a mom wrote in asking about cooking classes for kids. This is not an area I've covered editorially since I do a lot of cooking and baking at home with Laurel and subsequently have never had reason to explore cooking classes. But just like that, I was able to thumb through and point my reader to a couple of leads from Kim's book (and also recommend the book itself!).

Even if you don't reside in Boston proper, Boston Baby offers plenty of fodder for exploration, whether you want to take advantage of Kim's family-friendly out of town getaway recommendations, or take a jaunt into the city and neighboring communities to shop, connect with other parents, eat real food, and explore cultural offerings.

Intrigued about Boston Baby? Of course you are! So:

1. If you want to meet Kim and nosh on some fantastic food, reserve a spot at Aura Restaurant's "I Love My Boston Baby" family-style dining event tomorrow, March 5. Kim will be signing copies of Boston Baby and chef Rachel Klein will offer kid-friendly fare and a fine prix-fixe menu for parents. Extra bonus: staff from ArtBeat will be on hand to lead craft activities for the kids.

2. Want to be one of three winners to receive a copy of Boston Baby? Here's how:

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Congrats to winners Phyllis, Caitlin, and Kate!
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  • Visit the Union Park Press website, then email (with 'Boston Baby' in the subject), and name another Union Park Press title you'd love to read.

  • One entry permitted per person; US entrants welcome to enter.

  • Entry period closes at midnight EST, Monday, March 8, 2010.

    *Three lucky winners (drawn using will receive a copy of Boston Baby ($18 value).